se maquiller + a teenager's right to wear makeup?


High up in the Hautes-Alpes, just above a crack in the wall, there lives a blue-shuttered window with sunflowers, snowflakes, and the spirit of France peeking out.

coucou (koo koo) interjection

    : yoo-hoo

Coucou... it's time to contribute!

Have you ever thought about supporting this word journal? Thank you for taking a moment to do so now.

If you enjoy French Word-A-Day for its vocabulary-enriching essays, for the just-snapped photos, for the audio files, the furry smiles, or for the growing community then please consider contributing. A donation of any amount greatly helps to keep this language journal on its French toes! When you give a gift of $30 or more, you will receive the weekly photo journal Cinéma Vérité, with over a dozen of my latest photos from France. Please click here to contribute.

Merci beaucoup for your support! I am so happy to be able to bring you these "thrice-weekly" word & photo stories. Your help enables me to continue.



Kristin Espinasse




...Re those "furry smiles":

Son Smokey (right) illustrates The Yoo-Hoo dance. Mama Braise (left) says: "He just doesn't get it! Coucou is an interjection - and not a two-step! 


A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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"Coucou"....that's definitely how I feel after an intense week of learning a new program on the computer!
Ohhh...sorry "yoo hoo" is the translation!
Yes... please support Kristi's wonderful word a day in French and her lovely weekly journey of images...I am definitely looking forward to armchair travel this weekend :-)


Behind her window, snowflakes and sunflowers, I can imagine a French lady waving at you Kristin, smiling, and saying: "Coucou" to you and to all of us.

Hellohello! "Coucou"!
Hiya, hey! "Coucou"
"Peekaboo"! "Coucou"!
an old rickety car or bus... -or whatever- is a "coucou"
As for the "coucou" (= cuckoo bird), let's hope its distinctive call will not become extinct in the future!

We are extremely spoiled with a (free) "thrice-weekly" newsletter taking so much of your time and efforts.
Even if you had to reduce FWAD to "twice-weekly", because you need more free time to expand your writing talent beyond blogging (you know exactly what I mean), I still think a yearly (or life) contribution to "Cinéma Vérité" is the most brilliant way for us to show you our full support.

To all of you who hesitate and to those who, so far, felt comfortable in a certain degree of selfishness, make one step further. Come on, it's time to contribute! Get it all settled today, via your contribution to "Cinéma Vérité" -> a superb photo gallery coming every Saturday to your INBOX! Lovely photos to be enjoyed for seven days... and followed by more joy through each week of the year.

Jules Greer

"Coucou" Kristi,

I am so happy you tied on your pretty little ballet slippers at 6:00 a.m. this morning.


I'm already dancing because your words always wake me up and bring the 'BEAT' of life and love into my heart.

Of course I have been supporting you since birth - and the first thing I taught you was: 'there's no such thing as a free ride'.

All MOTHER'S are always pleased when their kid's finally start listening to them.



Bruce T. Paddock

Hey, Kristin -

There is one big difference between "Coucou" and "Yoo-hoo."

The difference is that people in France actually say, "Coucou." I've never in my life heard an American say "Yoo-hoo" — except maybe as a joke, or to order a chocolate soda.

I often hear "coucou" on French TV when people who aren't used to being on television (such as game show contestants) are being interviewed:

"Je donne un petit coucou à tous mescollègues, mes amis, et ma famille."

Bruce T. Paddock


Obviously, that should be "…mes collègues…." Sorry.

Paul Heffron

More wedding pictures, Kristin, more than just a tease.

gail bingenheimer

Sont-ils toujours à Marseille? - Non, ils en sont revenus.
Are they still in Marseilles? - No, they have come back!

Jules Greer

AS BRAISE gazes out the window she calls to Smokey: "Remember that old lady with the crazy hats I used to tell you about,
the one who would sleep on the floor with me because MOM wouldn't let her keep me on her bed?"

SMOKEY - 'The one who would sneek little pieces of cheese and crackers into her bed and share with you?"

BRAISE - "I think her name was GRANDMA."

SMOKEY - "Can you tell me another story."

Julie F in St. Louis, MO

Thanks for the gentle and timely reminder that it's time to renew for CV. You know how to suck us in with yet another perfect French picture -- curtains, sunflowers, blue shutters.

For anyone who is not a patron of CV every Saturday I say "Come join us!" Think about how easy it is to waste $30 in a week or a month. For $30 a year you get a gift to yourself that keeps on giving much more than that over-priced coffee you drink every morning. When I need a break from work at the computer I frequently find myself clicking on CV to flip through Kristin's many albums, and I feel like I've had a mini vacation without even leaving my desk.


Kristin, thanks for the pic of the whole Mourvèdre t-shirt - it really is an advertisement for one grape! I don't think I've ever seen such an idea in "print". No business name, no vigneron's name... actually extolling the virtue of one grape, with which I completely concur.

Bruce, yoo-hoo is common in certain parts of US, some of the south and southern plains - Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri. Still, you don't hear it like you do coucou in France, and it isn't used the same, more like "hey, over here".

Lee Isbell

I'm trying to think of when I use yoo-hoo because I know I do. Perhaps when catching the attention of a family member or friend when wandering around Costco and calling their name would result in several turned heads. Or alerting a Mom on the curb that her little child has darted into the street behind her!

When called out in a sing-song voice, it certainly sounds less rude than hey-you.

William F. Swiggart


FWIW, instead of having to solicit donations, why not sell "premium" subscriptions. Non-paying subscribers would get your lovely words only. Payers would receive your beautiful photos, and useful (though somewhat intimidating) sound files.

This tip should be worth, at least, what you paid for it. ;>)


My French friends put 'coucou' in the Subject area of their emails as a way of saying "Hi, there!"

And, Mr. Paddock, if you are reading this - you must visit the Upper Midwest. I grew up in Wisconsin and in the small communities there, someone walking into your home unannounced (we didn't lock our doors then) would always say, "Yoo Hoo, it's...."

Georgette Love

Hi Kristin, 9 mars, 2011
I had dinner and wine with Jean-Marc this evening in Asheville, North Carolina chez Bouchon. It was a wonderful evening. It was such a treat for me to meet your husband and to taste the wonderful wines.

I asked him to tell you that your stories and your family had enriched my life. I have been a subscriber for many years. He urged me to write and tell you in person. Alors, merci for the hours and hours of pleasure that I have had getting to know your family and improving my French.

Karen W  (Towson, Maryland)

Coucou!! One of my all-time favorite French words. It makes me feel so feminine when I say it.

Kristin, I can't imagine not having FWAD in my life. When I think about how dependable you are with it and how long you've been working at it, I'm amazed. We've each stumbled upon your blog, tuned in for a little bit of French and consequently found so much more. Here we share a friendship of kindred spirits - we are a family of sorts - that YOU'VE created through your words, humor and beautiful photos. I can't thank you enough. The very LEAST I can do is help to support it with more than my blog comments.

Here's to many more years of FWAD!

Jules Greer

Hi Honey,

It's Thursday morning, thought I would check in and see how you are doing. Keep your chin up, I know you are stressed out over asking for support for your WORK - but this is a step you must take in your path up the mountain of "RUNNING A BUSINESS". All people face this hurdle sooner or later in their life, there are certain steps in your path that must be set in a strong foundation and this is one of them.

I am so proud of you - you are now a real woman with a business.. you are now at the helm of your enterprise running it with style, humor, and BRAINS.

You are 43 years old - it is your time.

I'm not seeing many comments today - where is everyone?



Pat Cargill

Coucou, Kristin! As a supporter of French Word a Day et Cinema Verite, I applaud your efforts to bring timely bits and pieces of the French langue to us (at least me!) struggling francophones. (sp?) Anyway, I learned this little expression from a word-a-day calendar..."Rien nouveau sous le soleil." (I should go downstairs to double ck this! Close, anyway.)

So yes, there is truly "nothing new under the son," but what is new is that this and each day are an opportunity to Make our Life Anew - by waking up and letting our hearts hear & respond more deeply than our prejudices and biases; by letting our lips be more closed than our ears!; by our concerns being more outward than inward. And so forth. What is new is a rededication to supporting THAT WHICH MATTERS in our lives be it FWAD, public radio/tv, etc. etc. Mille mercis for your blog which has enriched my life.

I traveled from Roanoke Tuesday to D.C. for J-M's wine tasting joined by friends Leslie & Stan...our 2nd Annual Rouge-Bleu outing. Lovely wines, good times. If I can figure how to get the phone photo of MOI et J-M downloaded, will send! Great seeing him again. Am forwarding a card I had made for him - and forgot to bring to tasting - to you. Best wishes for continued success on all fronts de la Famille Espinasse!

Lisa A., CA

Coucou Kristin!

On March 30th I will be 43 too. :)
Alors, j'ai decide donner-moi pour mon anniversaire...votre livre "Words in a French Life"!

I just ordered it through your web site/Amazon...I can't wait to read it!!! I think, I now have my mom excited about your book too...hahaha

I am sending you a Huge Thank You! for your stories...all the way from Los Angeles, CA.
Have a beautiful weekend!

P.S. I love what your mom writes and how she words things.

Marianne Rankin

Pat, I saw you and we chatted for a moment. I didn't see you at the dinner - were you in a corner?

The dinner was fabulous. Although Dino's is officially an Italian restaurant, Dino took care to integrate the menu with Rouge-Bleu wines, which were served along with the food. It was a marvelous evening.

Kristin and Jean-Marc, you have lots of fans. We appreciate your efforts. And FWAD readers, cinema verite is worth your contribution.

Our friends always use coucou to say hi to little well as the beginning of some emails to us. I love it!

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